Qualcomm Ventures is kicking off its second annual QPrize competition today for the best startups in the wireless technology ecosystem. The communications giant will award $750,000 in total seed funding to the winners of the contest.
The venture capital arm of Qualcomm made the announcement at the DEMO Fall 2010 conference today in Santa Clara, Calif. It will formally announce the winner next spring at the DEMO Spring 2011 conference. The company will open the competition to entrepreneurs in North America, Europe, China, South Korea, India, and Israel. (South Korea and Israel are new additions). Ideas for submissions can come from anywhere in the mobile ecosystem, from semiconductor chips to mobile devices.
“We started this in early 2009 in the throes of the financial crisis, when there was a real need to give seed money for the best ideas,” said Nagraj Kashyap, vice president of Qualcomm Ventures in an interview. “From the start, we wanted it to be an international competition, because the best ideas in one region are very different from the best ideas in another.”
Kashyap said that games and social apps are very hot in the mobile market in the U.S. But abroad, the startups have more variety, with activities in mobile apps, smartphones, backend infrastructure and user interfaces.
The aim is to help startups accelerate their technologies and get them to market quickly. QPrize finalists will be invited to the DEMO Spring 2011 conference where they will compete for the grand prize. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 14, and more info is available at www.qprize.com. Qualcomm Ventures was started as a strategic investment group in 2000 with $500 million to invest. Participants from last year’s QPrize competition have either raised money or are generating revenues.
[Disclosure: VentureBeat is a partner in the DEMO events].
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